RUGBY : England winger Ryan Hall was named international ‘rookie’ of the year at the Rugby League International Federation Player of the Year gala dinner in Leeds on Monday night.
England winger Ryan Hall was named international ‘rookie’ of the year at the Rugby League International Federation Player of the Year gala dinner in Leeds on Monday night.
Australia dominated the awards, with Jarryd Hayne adding the player of the year to his Dally M award as the outstanding player in the NRL, but England provided three of the nine members in the team of the year.
Hall, who beat Penrith centre Michael Jennings and England team-mate Richie Myler to the young player title, was named winger of the year, Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield was judged the best loose forward and Gareth Ellis, of Wests Tigers, was named second rower of the year.
Sinfield, man of the match as hooker in England’s 26-16 Gillette Four Nations win over New Zealand, and Ellis are also short-listed for the prestigious Golden Boot award, along with Australians Greg Inglis, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith and New Zealander Fuifui Moimoi, which will be announced after Saturday’s Gillette Four Nations final.
The 21-year-old Hall scored 28 tries for Leeds in their Super League championship-winning season and also scored on his England debut against France in June.
He has played in all three of England’s Four Nations matches so far and is expected to go directly up against Hayne in Saturday’s final at Elland Road.
Hayne, 21, beat Kangaroos team-mates Inglis and last year’s winner Slater to become the second recipient of the award, which recognises individual excellence in the period between the start of last year’s World Cup and this season’s NRL and Super League Grand Finals.
The awards were chosen by a secret ballot of a 16-strong panel of journalists, broadcasters and former coaches and international players split equally between the two hemispheres.
The RLIF coach of the year award was won by Melbourne Storm’s Craig Bellamy, who beat off competition from his assistant Stephen Kearney, New Zealand’s World Cup-winning coach, and Canterbury Bulldogs’ Kevin Moore.
Referee of the year, decided by the referees officials in the NRL and Super League, was Australia’s Shayne Hayne while the RLIF spirit of rugby league award went to former ARL chairman Ken Arthurson.